|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on July 14, 2011|
On the afternoon of July 14, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, President Paul Biya of the Republic of Cameroon will pay a state visit to China from July 20 to 22.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini will pay an official visit to China from July 18 to 21. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will co-chair the 4th joint meeting of China-Italy Government Committee with Foreign Minister Frattini.
At the invitation of Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will attend the China-ASEAN (10+1) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, ASEAN plus China, Japan and ROK (10+3) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers' Consultation as well as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Bali island, Indonesia from July 21 to 23.
Q: US credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service Inc. recently warned of possible US debt downgrade. What is China's comment? Is China concerned about that?
A: We hope that the US Government adopts responsible policy measures in real earnest to protect investors' interests.
Q: Afghan President Karzai's brother, who was also the Chairman of Kandahar Provincial Council, was reportedly shot dead the other day. Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination. What is China's comment?
A: We are shocked at the incident and express condolences and solicitude to the bereaved family. As a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan, we sincerely hope to see an early realization of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Q: Please shed light on the ARF Foreign Ministers' Meetings that Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is to attend. What are the highlights of the meetings? What kind of expectation does China have? Is there any bilateral meeting arrangement for Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi?
A: During the ARF Foreign Ministers' Meetings, Foreign Ministers will exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest, review and look into the future of 10+1 and 10+3 cooperation and deliberate on the future development of the East Asia Summit as well as the ARF.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will set forth China's position on the further advancement of 10+1 and 10+3 cooperation, elaborate China's views on Asia-Pacific security landscape and regional cooperation framework and expound China's stance on the development direction of the East Asia Summit and the ARF.
We will release information on Foreign Minister Yang's bilateral meetings once they are confirmed.
Q: Recent multiple bomb blasts in Mumbai, India reportedly caused large casualties. What is China's comment on that? Separately, Philippine Foreign Secretary del Rosario was quoted as saying that China's reluctance to submit the Nansha Islands dispute between China and the Philippines to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea demonstrated that China can not validate its position in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. What is China's comment?
A: On your first question, gravely shocked at the multiple bomb blasts that caused heavy casualties and property losses on the evening of July 13 in Mumbai, India, the Chinese Government strongly condemns the attack and expresses sincere solicitude to the Indian Government, people, the bereaved families and the injured as well as condolences to the victims.
China firmly opposes terrorism in all its manifestations. We would work along with the international community including India to crack down on terrorism and safeguard regional and international peace and stability.
On your second question, China's position on the South China Sea is clear and consistent. China always upholds that the South China Sea dispute shall be resolved through direct negotiation between directly concerned countries in accordance with historical facts and universally recognized international law. Practices have proven that direct negotiation between directly concerned countries is the most effective approach for the settlement of disputes over territorial sovereignty as well as maritime rights and interests.
Q: On the sidelines of the ARF meetings, will Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi talk about the South China Sea issue with the Philippines and Vietnam?
A: China's position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent. China always maintains that the South China Sea dispute shall be peacefully resolved through dialogue and consultation in accordance with universally recognized international law. The ARF Foreign Ministers' Meetings will focus on issues of common interest, about which I have just briefed you.
Q: First, New Zealand called for more grants from China to Pacific island countries, saying that China's "soft loans" may cast relevant countries into a debt crisis once the interest-free period ends. What is China's comment? Second, the consultation meeting on Syrian national dialogue mechanism concluded recently with a statement released. What is China's comment on the current situation in Syria?
A: On your first question, the Chinese Government has begun providing concessional loans to relevant developing countries since 1995 and adopted strict management over loan projects. Approval would not be granted without bank assessment on relevant projects' economic returns and repayment capacity. Facts have proven that relevant projects are of fairly good social and economic returns and welcomed by local governments and people. China fully respects the recipient countries' wills, adjusts assistance to fit into their long-term development plans and stays in timely and close communication with their competent authorities on assistance projects and implementation progress in light of the recipient governments' specific requirements and priorities.
In the future, China will further optimize the assistance structure through innovative ways and arrange a rational mix of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans for better overall results. More will be dedicated to the realization of UN Millennium Development Goals to make more tangible contribution to the economic and social development of the recipient countries.
On your second question, China welcomes dialogue and consultation of all relevant parties in Syria for the appropriate settlement of disputes, with a view to avoiding bloodshed and conflicts and maintaining national stability and normal social order.
Q: It was reported that a ceremony was held yesterday in the US military base in northern Afghanistan, marking the withdrawal of the first batch of US troops. What is China's comment?
A: We always call for respect of Afghanistan's independence and sovereignty and hope to see an early realization of national peace and stability there.We also hope relevant parties earnestly assume responsibility during the transfer of security authority to Afghanistan and help Afghanistan build up its security capacity so as to ensure a peaceful and stable transition.
Q: The validity period of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK is 20 years. The two countries have renewed the treaty twice. Will China renew the treaty once again when it expires in 2021?
A: Since the signing of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK 50 years ago, it has made positive contribution to developing bilateral relations as well as safeguarding regional peace and stability.
It serves the common interests of all parties to solve problems through dialogue and consultation, safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and realize denuclearization and enduring peace on the Peninsula. It is also China's starting point and goal in handling the Peninsula issue. We will stay committed to developing China-DPRK friendly cooperative relations and playing a constructive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.
Q: According to your statement, China would like to make joint efforts with the international community including India to crack down on terrorism. Does China have any proposal or plan?
A: We believe that the international community should join hand in hand in combating terrorism which is the common enemy of the whole world, so as to safeguard world peace and stability. With a view to eradicating terrorism, we should address both its symptoms and root cause and refrain from adopting double standards or linking terrorism with specific country, ethnic group or religion.
China always participates actively in international cooperation against terrorism and conducts counter-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with all parties on the basis of equal cooperation and mutual benefit.
Q: The "Libyan Contact Group" meeting will convene in Istanbul, Turkey this weekend. Will China send representatives to the meeting?
A: China has received relevant invitation. However, as we still have to make further study of the role and operation of the "Libyan Contact Group", China will not be present at the meeting.
Q: France said recently that a Syria-related UN Security Council resolution was frustrated by China and Russia. What is China's position in this regard?
A: China follows closely the developments of the situation in Syria and hopes that it will restore national stability and normal order as soon as possible. Whether the UN Security Council will take action on the Syria issue and how it will do so mainly depend on whehther the action is conducive to alleviating the current tension there, facilitating political dialogue among all relevant parties in Syria to dissolve dispute, and safeguarding peace and stability of the Middle East Region.
Q: The IMF Chief Lagarde recently named Zhu Min as the IMF deputy managing director. What is China's comment?
A: We are happy to note IMF Chief Lagarde's nomination of Zhu Min as deputy managing director. It demonstrates the major progress made by the IMF in increasing the representativeness of emerging markets and developing countries in the institution, which is conducive to the improvement of IMF governance structure.
China always maintains that the selection of leaders and senior executives of international financial institutions should follow the G20 principle of openness, transparency and merit and increase the representativeness of emerging markets and developing countries so as to better reflect the changing global economic structure. We hope that the IMF will forge ahead with its reform for further progress.
Q: The first China-US Governors Forum has been recently unveiled. Would you please brief us on that?
A: The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the US National Governors Association co-host the first China-US Governors Forum in Salt Lake City, Utah, the US from July 13 to 16. The theme of the forum is to "strengthen China-US cooperation at local level and promote common prosperity". During the forum, governors from both countries will hold meetings and sign several cooperation documents in trade, education, science and technology and other fields.
During President Hu Jintao's visit to the US in January, the two countries spelled out the establishment of the China-US Governors Forum in China-US Joint Statement. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and US Department of State signed relevant Memorandum of Understanding. The forum serves as an important platform for exchanges between governors of the two countries and promote bilateral practical cooperation across the board.
The Chinese delegation to the forum is made up of secretaries of provincial Party committees or governors from Zhejiang, Anhui, Yunnan, Qinghai and other provinces, while more than 30 US governors attend the forum.
In order to make the forum a long-term mechanism, the US National Governors Association will send a US governors delegation to pay a reciprocal visit to China in the latter half of this year at the invitation of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The forum is planned to be held once a year in the future.
Q: China always calls for the increase of representativeness of emerging markets and developing countries in international financial institutions. Why didn't China support the Mexican candidate for the post of the IMF Chief.
A: China hopes that the IMF will make more efforts to push forward relevant reform so as to obtain greater progress.
Q: Some Indian officials are concerned that the Mumbai bomb attack may be conducted by some organizations attempting to impair the resumption of India-Pakistan dialogue. What is China's comment?
A: Both India and Pakistan are good neighbours of China as well as major countries in South Asia. The improvement of India-Pakistan relations not only serves the interests of South Asia but also peace, stability and development of Asia at large. We support the further improvement of India-Pakistan relations.